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Puentevella lauds Cebu’s rise in weightlifting

By: Glendale G. Rosal - | May 30,2024 - 04:44 PM

SWP's Alex Pacquiao, Mark Alino, SWP president Monico Puentevella, and CCSC chairman John Pages.

SWP’s Alex Pacquiao, Mark Alino, SWP president Monico Puentevella, and CCSC chairman John Pages. | Photo by Glendale Rosal

CEBU CITY, Philippines—- Well-known sportsman and Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas (SWP) president Monico Puentevella lauded Cebu’s sudden climb in the sport after producing two Olympians bound for the Paris Olympics later this year.

During his visit to Cebu, Puentevella praised two-time Olympian Elreen Ando and first-timer John Febuar Ceniza for making Cebu the “forefront” of weightlifting in the Philippines.

“Out of the three weightlifters, two are from Cebu, one is from Bohol it simply means that they managed weightlifting in Cebu successfully through the years. It wasn’t overnight, but you can see that Ando beat Hidilyn (Diaz) in the Asian Championships ultimately a month ago in Phuket, Thailand,” said Puentevella.

He was in Cebu this week to formally announce the Philippine National Open weightlifting championships from June 9 to 15, at the SM Seaside City Cebu which is co-hosted by SWP and the Cebu City Sports Commission through chairman John Pages.

READ: National Weightlifting Open to invade Cebu in June

Future gold medalists

Puentevella, a former politician and ex-Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) commissioner, expressed confidence that Elreen Ando, John Febuar Ceniza, and Vanessa Sarno have strong chances of winning gold at the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.

“Cebu is now in the forefront in weightlifting because they produced two Olympians, while Zamboanga lost their last remaining bet, Rosegie Ramos who didn’t qualify in Phuket. She missed the last lift by 1kgs, somebody had to take her place,” Puentevella explained.

“Febuar was No. 5 in Phuket, he’s amazing, although may sakit siya, nag rerehab siya sa Rizal Stadium, I think that boy will make it for the bronze or silver. I’m predicting if I’m still alive in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, one of them will get gold and three more Filipino weightlifters. You give them four more years, they will be at their peak if they continue. If they have the heart of Hidilyn (Diaz), they will get the gold one day.

Puentevella also credited the success of Cebuano weightlifters to their dedicated coaches, Ramon Solis and Christopher Bureros. He said that Ando, Ceniza, Sarno, and Diaz are expected to participate in the Philippine National Open. /clorenciana

READ: Decisive wins put Carlo Paalam, Bacyadan closer to Paris Olympics

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TAGS: 2024 Paris Olympics, cebu news, Cebu sports, weightlifting

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